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Strategies for Effective Sharing of Behavioral Health Information in Medicaid Managed Care

December 2016
Full report

Sharing patient data between physical health and mental health and/or substance use providers is necessary for integration of care, but is often hindered by complex laws and regulations. Medicaid managed care organizations are working with states and providers to promote effective, confidential information sharing.

If a provider cannot see the complete medical history for a patient—including information on treatment for mental health and/or substance use disorders—then the patient may experience uncoordinated care, conflicting advice, or adverse interactions of medications.

Though it is clear that full exchange of information is critical to integrated care, providers confront an array of technological and legal barriers—both real and perceived—to the exchange of mental health and substance use information. Moreover, individuals often have a heightened concern about sharing this information. Medicaid plans are working to address these barriers through education and technical support, effective consent procedures, and stronger IT infrastructure, among other efforts.


  • Impact of information sharing on high-quality, integrated care
  • Current privacy laws and regulations
  • Provider education
  • Effective consent procedures
  • Strengthening IT infrastructure

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